Dr. Randy J. Dunn was selected to become the eighth
president of the Southern Illinois University System on
February 17, 2014, and he began his official duties at
the University on May 1.
Prior to coming to
Southern Illinois, Dunn served as president at two other
state institutions — Murray State University in Kentucky
(2006-2013) and Youngstown State University in Ohio
(2013-2014). Before that, Dunn was the state
superintendent of education, appointed to that role by
the Illinois State Board of Education. He is not a
stranger to the SIU System, having held the rank of
professor in the Department of Educational
Administration and Higher Education at SIUC. Dunn
started at the Carbondale campus as an associate
professor in 1995 and was named department chair in
2000, before leaving to assume the state
superintendency. During his term as chair, he also
taught in the joint doctoral program in educational
leadership at SIU Edwardsville. Dunn began his
academic career as an assistant professor in the
Department of Leadership at The University of Memphis
for two years before taking his faculty post at Southern
His early career in
Illinois public education included classroom teaching,
service as a principal at two school districts in north
central Illinois, and the post of district
superintendent for two Illinois school systems.
Dunn received his doctorate in educational
administration from the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign in 1991. He graduated from
Illinois State University with a master’s in
administration and foundations in 1983, and the B.S. in
education in 1980.
During his time in higher
education, Dunn has served on a number of committees,
councils, boards, and task forces, including those for
the American Council on Education, American and Illinois
Associations of School Administrators, North Central
Association, Southern Association of Colleges and
Schools, Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, Learning Point
Associates, Illinois Board of Higher Education, Illinois
Association of School Boards, and other groups. He
has done extensive consulting on K-12 education issues
nationally and has served as the principal investigator
or co-PI on numerous grants totaling nearly $650,000.
His scholarly writing included published articles on a
range of education management issues in professional
journals, as well as book chapters, book reviews and
monographs. Additionally, he has evaluated a
number of manuscripts for publication in journals and
books and grant proposals for funding agencies.
Dunn is married to Dr. Ronda Baker Dunn, originally from
Benton, IL, and they reside in rural Carbondale.
They enjoy travel, riding in their Jeep, the arts — and of
course, Saluki and Cougar athletics. Randy and
Ronda are the parents of four adult children.